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Author Topic: Nietzsche & the orgins of Christianity Part 1

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Nietzsche & the orgins of Christianity Part 1
« on: 23 July 2013 at 11:08 »
   

Over the  course of two thousand years, Christianity has grown from nothing to the largest  religion on the planet.  Some 2.1  billion people now consider themselves Christian, about one third of all of  humanity.  It significantly  outnumbers Islam, in second place with 1.5 billion members.]1 America  is among the most religious of all industrialized nations; about 77 percent are  Christians, and most of these are regular church-goers.  And yet few people, even Christians themselves, understand the origin of  this most influential religion.  In  one sense, of course, we will never truly understand exactly what events  transpired two millennia ago, in that land of shepherds, nomads, and dusty  villages of the near Middle East.   Archeology tells us some things, ancient documents others.  But these give us only an outline of the facts of that place and time.  If we wish to comprehend early Christianity and its implications for  today, many gaps must be filled in — by analysis, probability, guesswork, and  faith.

Friedrich  Nietzsche took a great interest in Christianity and its allied religion,  Judaism.]2 This interest,  however, was strikingly — shockingly — negative.  The title alone of his final book, Antichrist, gives a good indication.  For Nietzsche, Christianity was decadent, weak, and nihilistic.  It led to a sickly, subservient, herd morality, and suffocated the quest  for human excellence.  Worst of all,  it replaced a life-affirming naturalness with an otherworldly, life-denying  negativism.  It has become, in fact,  “the greatest misfortune of mankind so far” (Antichrist,  sec. 51).]3 And this disaster of Christianity is impossible to  understand, he said, without grasping its Jewish roots.  Thus it is not simply Christianity, but Judeo-Christianity, that must be examined with a brutal honesty, if  we are to overcome its weaknesses.

Before  looking in detail at Nietzsche’s critique, I want to briefly review the state of  knowledge on the origins of this religion.  We obviously know much more today than Nietzsche did in the late 1800s.  But it is to his credit that the present facts seem, by and large, to  bear out his analysis — though perhaps his conclusions remain as controversial  as ever.

Historical  Background

Consider,  first of all, the ancient origins of Judaism and the corresponding events of the  Old Testament (OT).  The original  patriarch, Abraham, apparently lived some time between 1800 and 1500  bc — he  being the traditional father of not only Judaism (and thus Christianity) but a  leading prophet of Islam as well._]4 The next major figure, Moses,  lived around 1300 bc, and some time afterward the “Five Books of Moses” began to  take shape, likely at first as an oral tradition.  These books, as we know, would eventually form the Pentateuch (Torah) —  the beginning of the OT._]5

The remaining  30-odd OT books were added over the next one thousand years, with the set  becoming complete around 200 bc.   These books were written in Hebrew, but a Greek translation — the Septuagint —  was begun about this time, completed circa 50 bc.  The Dead Seas Scrolls, which date to the first century  bc, contain  fragments from every book of the Hebrew OT, and thus are our earliest proof that  the complete document existed by that time.  Whether it appeared any earlier is a matter of pure speculation.

Dating of the  OT texts is one thing; accuracy is  another matter altogether.  First of  all, the earliest dates cited above are purely conjectural, since we have no  recorded reference to the travails of Moses prior to 850  bc.  Furthermore, prominent Israeli archeologist Ze’ev Herzog has shown the  increasing discrepancies between archeological data and the biblical stories].6 Efforts in the 1900s to confirm the OT yielded a plentitude of new information,  but this “began to undermine the historical credibility of the biblical  descriptions instead of reinforcing them.”  Scholars were confronted with “an increasingly large number of  anomalies,” among these:  “no  evidence has been unearthed that can sustain the chronology” of the Patriarchal  age; of the Exodus, “the many Egyptian documents that we have make no mention of  the Israelites’ presence in Egypt, and are also silent about the events of the  Exodus”;]7 and the alleged conquest of Canaan (Palestine) by the  Israelites in the 1200s bc is refuted by archeological digs at Jericho and Ai  that found no existing cities at that time.  Even the famed monotheism of the early Jews is undermined by inscriptions  from the 700s bc that refer to a pair of gods, “Yahweh and his consort, Asherah.”  An overall picture thus  comes into view:  a kernel of true  people and events magnified over time, acquiring legendary status.  Disparate tribes of wandering and warring Jews become heroic freedom  fighters, and ultimately the chosen people of the (eventually) one God.

Perhaps  surprisingly, Nietzsche appreciated the Old Testament — in spite of his  skepticism about its historical veracity.  He liked the power of the language and the concept of a ‘God of the  Jews’, a god appropriate for a given people and a given time, one who rewarded  and punished in equal measures.  “In  the Jewish ‘Old Testament,’ the book of divine justice, there are human beings,  things, and speeches in so grand a style that Greek and Indian literature have  nothing to compare with it” (Beyond Good  and Evil, sec. 52);  and again:  “all honor to the Old Testament!” (Genealogy  of Morals, 3.22).

The New  Testament — the Christian Testament —  however, was a completely different matter.  Again, the historical facts set the stage.

The Maccabean  revolt of 165 bc, against the Seleucid Empire, reestablished Jewish rule over  Palestine.  The resulting Hasmonean  dynasty was formed in 141 and ruled until the Roman Empire incorporated the  region in 63 bc.  Until that time the  indigenous Jews had lived under many occupying powers — Persians, Babylonians,  Alexander the Great — but apparently were able to accommodate their foreign  rulers and still thrive.

Things were  different under the Romans.  Having  been the ruling power in Palestine for 100 years, the Jews were rather quickly  and dismissively subsumed into the Empire.  Relatively benign at first, governance became increasingly callous and  brutal.  In addition to passing  judgment on Jesus, Pontius Pilate was known for his aggressive treatment of the  Jews; but things grew even worse after his removal in 36  ad and the ascension of  Emperor Caligula.  Ben-Sasson writes,  “The reign of Caligula (37–41 ad) witnessed the first open break between the  Jews and the Empire. …  [R]elations  deteriorated seriously during [this time].”]8 Tensions culminated in  the first Jewish revolt, which began in 66 and ended in Roman victory and the  plundering and destruction of the famed Jewish temple at Jerusalem (Herod’s  Temple) in the year 70  —  which had  stood in place since 516 bc._]9
Rome retained  power over Palestine for nearly 400 more years, until the fracturing of the  Empire in 395.  The surviving Eastern  (Byzantine) Empire continued to rule the region for another 240 years, until the  Arab Caliphates took over in 638.   Thus it is clear that Roman rule, beginning in 63 bc, was decisive for the  emergence of Christianity.  Nietzsche  seems to have been the first scholar to grasp the significance of this fact:  “Without the Roman Caesars and Roman society, the insanity of  Christianity would never have come to rule” (Will  to Power, sec. 874).   

Nietzsche’s  Analysis of Christianity

So, how shall  we understand Christianity?   Nietzsche’s analysis starts from three essential facts. “The first thing to be remembered if we do not wish to lose the scent  here, is, that we are among Jews” (sec. 44).  This much is obvious, but it bears repeating.  Jesus was a Jew, as were his parents Joseph and Mary, and all 12  apostles.  The three other main  figures of the New Testament — Mark, Luke, and Paul — though not apostles, were  also Jews.  And the many unknown  authors that contributed to the New Testament (NT) were almost certainly Jewish  as well.  This situation is not  incidental, and not a question of individual character or action; “[it is] a  matter of race.”
And not just  Jews, but lowly Jews — the  ‘chandalas’, as Nietzsche calls them, the untouchables, the lumpenproletariat: “the people at the bottom, the outcasts and  ‘Spadeers’, the chandalas within Judaism” (sec. 27).  It was these men that gave  birth to this great religion of redemption.]10 Even granting that Nietzsche exaggerates  here, it is clear that they were the low class, ‘blue collar’ people of the day  — the farmers, fishermen, carpenters, and laborers.  Christianity was born not simply of Jews, but of the lowest caste of  Jews.
This  situation is important to grasp because it demonstrates that the proto-Christian  Jews had, in effect, two sets of masters:  the Romans, and their own elite Jewish priests, the Pharisees.  Hence they were doubly enslaved.  In order to establish any sense of freedom and autonomy they would have  to rebel against both parties — even as the Pharisees would be their allies  against Rome.  A difficult situation,  to be sure.

His second  fact — an unquestioned assumption, really — is that the entire concept of an  actually-existing, transcendent, all-powerful God is utter nonsense.  Stories about holy visions, miracles, redemption, and divine intervention  are nothing more than “foeda superstitio” — vulgar superstition.  This does not, however, mean that Nietzsche was opposed to ‘God’ in  principle.  He believed that every  people and every culture need to create their own concept of religion, and of  the divine.  These things are a  formalized recognition of respect and reverence toward that which embodies one’s  highest values.  Each culture and  each era needs to create its god(s) anew, appropriate to their situation in the  world.  Western Europeans have  utterly failed in this task:
There  is no excuse whatever for their failure to dispose of such a sickly and senile  product of decadence [as the Christian God].  But a curse lies upon them for this failure: they have absorbed sickness,  old age, and contradiction into all their instincts — and since then they have  not created another god.  Almost two thousand years — and not one new god!  (sec. 19)

A proper  re-conception of religion, however, must be a truly uplifting, life-affirming,  and ennobling enterprise — decidedly unlike Judeo-Christianity — and must never  be taken as permanent and absolute truth.  All superstitious, i.e. anti-natural, religions are out of the question.  The human condition, and human ‘salvation,’ must be firmly rooted in the  present, physical world — the real world.

The third  basic fact, as explained above, is the historical context of the Roman  occupation and persecution.  Without  this, the events of the Christian era are incomprehensible.

* * * * *

With this in  place, let me attempt to reconstruct Nietzsche’s conception of early  Christianity.  This is difficult in  any case, due to the radically unsystematic nature of his writing.  But a coherent picture emerges from his many disparate observations.

On  Nietzsche’s view, Jesus was a humble Jew, an ordinary man, though clearly a  leader and moral preacher of some merit.  He spoke of the value of humility and pity, and of a God who viewed with  compassion even the lowliest slave.   Jesus sought to relieve suffering through compassion — the ‘Kingdom of God’  within each person.  Simultaneously  he opposed, via a path of nonviolent resistance, both the social oppression of  the Pharisees and the political oppression of the Romans.  To achieve all this, it was necessary to “spread the word,” the Good Word  of God.  Jesus’ life, his faith, and  the faith of the real Christian were essentially pragmatic. His faith was the  response of a lowly Jew struggling to assist other lowly Jews in the face of  oppression.  Thus follows the practice of true Christianity, which is its essence:

[Christianity] projects itself into a new practice, the genuine evangelical  practice.  It is not a ‘faith’ that  distinguishes the Christian: the Christian acts, he is distinguished by acting differently: by not resisting, either in words or in his heart, those who  treat him ill…  The life of the  Redeemer was nothing other than this practice — nor was his death anything else. …  Only the evangelical practice leads to God, indeed, it is ‘God’!  (sec. 33)

This was  absolutely appropriate for a man in Jesus’ situation — namely, an underclass Jew  fighting oppression and seeking to help his fellow sufferers.  But this was a very specific situation, and appropriate only to a  particular time, place, and culture.   In a very real sense Jesus was, and could be, the only ‘true’ Christian:  “in truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.   The ‘evangel’ died on the cross” (sec.  39).  But to exploit this singular  example, to expand it, to universalize it, to use it as a generalized weapon  against the powerful and noble classes, against nature and against life itself —  this was the crime.  Notably, the  crime was not of Jesus’ doing — though he too was a ‘criminal’ — but that of his  followers; first and foremost, Paul.

The ground  was ripe for exploitation in that first century of the new millennium.  Traditionally the Jews had a long history of prophesies of coming  saviors, of redeemers, and of a messiah who would deliver them from suffering  and slavery, and restore the Kingdom of Israel as it was in the era of the  so-called unified kingdom of David in 1000 bc.  But for all this talk of saviors, there is surprisingly little textual  basis in the OT.  The Pentateuch  contains no mention of a messiah.   Neither do the ‘historical’ or ‘poetic’ books.  Only the prophets speak of a savior, but rarely and obscurely; nearly all  references of any specificity are found in just one book — Isaiah.  In any case there was some extant tradition for such a man, and if there  ever was a need for him it was during the Roman occupation.

However,  there is strikingly little evidence that, during his lifetime, people considered  Jesus to be ‘the’ Messiah.  He was  born around 4 bc, but we have astonishingly few details of his early life —  apart from the miraculous virgin birth described in the Gospels, which are  problematic in themselves, as I explain below.  It has struck more than one commentator as extremely odd that this  miracle child could be born and then all but drop out of sight for some 20 or 30  years.]11  Virtually  nothing is known about the facts of Mary’s life, and even less of Joseph; even  the years and places of their deaths are a mystery.

Most  surprisingly, there is virtually no recorded documentation about Jesus during  his lifetime, or by anyone who personally knew him.  Jesus himself wrote nothing, which, while not impossible, is counter to a  long tradition of moral or spiritual teachers leaving a written legacy.  (On the other hand, if he was in fact a poor uneducated Jew, he likely  did not know how to write.)  In spite of alleged miracles performed in front of thousands of people —  recall the fishes and loaves story — no one at the time bothered to record such  momentous events on paper.  The men  who knew him best, the 12 apostles, wrote nothing._]12 Of their lives we know almost nothing,  other than some presumed years of death for five of them (John, Peter, Phillip,  Thomas, and Judas).  Again this is  striking; once the true nature of the Messiah was confirmed by his resurrection,  one would have expected his close followers to be revered in themselves, and for  their every step to be noted and recorded.

At this point  the student of the Bible will respond that two of the apostles, John and  Matthew, wrote their corresponding Gospels.  But few experts believe this today.  The present consensus is that the four Gospel authors were anonymous  individuals who did not personally know Jesus.]13 Based on events  mentioned in them, however, scholars have assigned them approximate dates.  The earliest was Mark, written about the year 70 — some 40 years after the  crucifixion.  Again, this is an  amazingly long time to wait to record the miracle of the Messiah, even if done  by Mark himself (a man who did not personally know him).

Nor do we  have any confirmation of Jesus’ life story from contemporaneous non-Christian  sources.  One would certainly have  expected his enemies to document his life, if he had been a person of substance  or threat.  But no such writings  exist.  The earliest mention is by  the Jewish author Flavius Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews from circa 93  ad.  Pliny the Younger and  Tacitus both refer to the Christians in their writings of the early 100s ad.  Again, these  sources come 60 to 70 years after Jesus’ death — not what one would expect.

By all  accounts, then, Jesus was a rather ordinary individual, a preacher of faith and  action, and a consoler of troubled souls.  He likely counseled his fellow down-trodden Jews to stick up for  themselves, and perhaps to disobey the unjust Roman rule, and even the  contemptuous dictates of their own Jewish elite.  Such rabble-rousers were frequently exiled or put to death (recall  Socrates), and so it is not surprising that the elite Jews would agitate for his  execution — against the reluctant wishes of Pilate himself, if in fact he was  ever truly involved.  We know the  result: “God on the Cross.”

Then we come  to Paul.  For Nietzsche, as for many  other scholars, Paul is the central figure in early Christianity — to the extent  that ‘Paulism’ would be the more appropriate designation.  In Paul’s rendering, Jesus — the real Jesus — becomes virtually irrelevant, even counterproductive.  Paul needed not Jesus’ life, but his death; only this could work miracles.    The entire story of Jesus’ life was rewritten and altered, motivated not  out of love but the very opposite:   feelings of hatred and revenge toward the conquerors:

In  Paul was embodied the opposite type to that of [Christ]: the genius in hatred,  in the vision of hatred, in the inexorable logic of hatred. …  The life, the example, the doctrine, the death… — nothing remained once  this hate-inspired counterfeiter realized what alone he could use.  Not the reality, not the historical truth!  And once more the priestly instinct of the Jew committed the same great  crime against history — he invented his  own history of earliest Christianity.

The  Savior type, the doctrine, the practice, the death, the meaning of death, even  what came after death — nothing remained untouched, nothing remained even  similar to the reality.  Paul simply  transposed the center of gravity of the whole existence after this existence — in the lie of the ‘resurrected’ Jesus.  At bottom, he had no use at all for the life of the Savior — he needed  the death on the cross and a little  more.  … Paul wanted the end, consequently he also wanted the means.  What he himself did not believe, the idiots among whom he threw his  doctrine believed.  His need was for  power; in Paul, the priest wanted power once again — he could use only concepts,  doctrines, symbols with which one tyrannizes masses and forms herds.  (sec. 42)

The real  Jesus was thus reduced to a caricature, a trigger for some fictionalized grand  narrative:  “The founder of a  religion can be insignificant — a  match, no more!” (Will to Power, sec.  178).  On Nietzsche’s view, then,  Paul repeated the trick of the Old Testament:  He took the basic elements of a man’s life and history, a kernel of  truth, and wove out of this a fantastic story of miracles, immortality, and  divinity incarnate.  And precisely  here was the source of the problem.
Recall the basic facts of Paul’s life.  He was born in Tarsus (modern-day Turkey) around the year 10 ad as ‘Saul’, a Jew like the rest  though different in one important respect:  He was not a chandala Jew, but rather a Pharisee, an elite Jew.]14  He never knew Jesus, and was in fact an early and harsh critic of the  Christians, he tells us.  Then on his  travels to Damascus in the year 33, three years after the crucifixion, Saul  encountered the ‘risen Christ’ in a revelatory vision and was immediately  converted.  Taking the name Paul, he  became the foremost champion of Christianity — even more so, strangely, than any  of the apostles who knew Jesus.  He begins  to create fledgling churches around the Mediterranean, and in the process writes  a series of letters — the 13 “Pauline” epistles — encouraging and cajoling his  recruits, and declaring his faith in Jesus the Messiah.  These epistles — by far the earliest written Christian documents — would  ultimately comprise nearly half the 27 books of the New Testament._]15  Like his Savior, Paul evidently acquired a reputation as a troublemaker.  He was arrested and sent to Rome for  trial, though we know few details.  He was  apparently executed, either by beheading or crucifixion, some time in the  mid-60s ad._]16

Nietzsche is  rightly suspicious of Paul’s conversion, and not only on grounds of  ‘superstition.’  First of all, the  two earliest epistles — Galatians and 1 Thessalonians — date to around 50  ad; this is a full 20 years after the crucifixion, and nearly as long after  Paul’s conversion.  Granted, starting  up a new religion is slow work, but one would expect some written record sooner  than this, particularly from an elite, well-educated Jew.  Second, Paul’s conversion in or around the year 33 is virtually  coincident with the initial outbreak of Jewish-Roman antipathy — during Pilate’s  reign, and just prior to the major break in relations attributed to Caligula.  This suggests some causal link.  Third, things worsened under the subsequent emperor, Claudius, as he  expelled the Jews from Rome in the year 49 (see Acts 18:2) — just about the time  of the first epistles.  Fourth, the  epistles are strikingly lacking in details about Jesus’ life:  nothing on his birth, early life, ministry, or the apostles.  This suggests that Paul either did not know, or did not care, about such  trivial details.
 
Dr.  Thomas Dalton (email him) is the  author of Debating the  Holocaust (2009).
Permanent URL: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Dalton-Nietzsche2.html

Notes to  page 1

 Hinduism is number three, with about 900 million adherents, although  those professing atheism or holding other explicit non-religious views are  greater in number, now about 1.1 billion. [return]
 For a detailed study of Nietzsche’s complex views on Jews and Judaism —  see my article, “Nietzsche  on the Jews.” [return]

 Most of the following quotations are from Antichrist, and this book is the  source where I have indicated only section numbers.  Quotations from other books will be explicitly cited. [return]
 According to legend, Abraham had two sons: Isaac, who gave rise to the  Jewish lineage, and Ishmael, the father of the Arabs.   [return]

 Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,  and Deuteronomy.   [return]
 The following quotes are from his article “Deconstructing the walls of  Jericho”, Ha’aretz Magazine, October  29, 1999.   [return]

 “Most historians today agree that, at best, the stay in Egypt and the  exodus events occurred among a few families, and that their private story was  expanded and ‘nationalized’ to fit the needs of theological ideology.”  There is one later Egyptian documentation of such an event, by the high  priest Manetho from the third century bc, which comes to a similar conclusion.  As recounted by Lindemann, “the Jews had been driven out of Egypt because  they, a band of destitute and undesirable immigrants who had intermarried with  the slave population, were afflicted with various contagious diseases.”  The Jews were thus expelled “for reasons of public hygiene.”  In sum, “the account in Exodus was an absurd falsification of actual  events, an attempt to cover up the embarrassing and ignoble origin of the Jews.”  (Esau’s Tears, 1997: 28). [return]

 A History of the Jewish People (Harvard University Press; 1976), pp. 254-255.   [return]
 Future emperor Titus led the Roman attack.  His victory was commemorated with the construction of the Arch of Titus,  a striking monument that stands today aside the Colosseum.   [return]
 With the notable exception of Paul — details to follow.   [return]
 The sole exception is an incident recorded in Luke (2:41-51), in which a 12-year-old  Jesus escapes from parental oversight and is later found in the company of some  spiritual teachers.  Certainly  nothing miraculous about that.   [return]

 As we recall:  John, Matthew,  Peter (aka Simon, aka Cephas), Andrew, James the Greater, James the lesser,  Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Jude (aka Thaddeus), Simon, and Judas.   [return]
 This fact should be widely known by now, but it’s not.  Even a quick glance at an encyclopedia confirms it:  “Today, many scholars doubt that any of the writers of the Gospels knew  Jesus during his lifetime.  They also  doubt that we know the actual names of the writers.”  (World Book Encyclopedia, 2003,  ‘Jesus Christ’)    [return]

 See Philippians 3:5, and Acts 23:6 or 26:5.    [return]
 Seven of these 13 are considered to be genuinely authored by Paul; the  other six are disputed.    [return]
 In another biblical oddity, one would expect details of his death to be  recorded in Acts, which is otherwise  so detailed about Paul’s life.  This  is especially true given that this book dates to the years 80-100, well after  his alleged execution.  But it stops  just short of describing his death.
Reverend Gregg E. Imperium. Formerly WCOTC Northern Ireland.

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Re: Nietzsche & the orgins of Christianity Part 2
« Reply #1 on: 30 July 2013 at 11:21 »
Nietzsche and the Origins of Christianity, Part 2

Thomas Dalton | January 30, 2010 | theoccidentalobserver.net                         


Part 2

But  Nietzsche’s main contention, and his most controversial conjecture, was this: Christianity as Jewish revenge.  He paints the following picture, to which I have added factual details as  we understand them today.

Paul could  see the growing oppression of the Jews.  They had only limited ability to fight back militarily.  They were increasingly frustrated and trapped, confronted by a larger and  more powerful enemy than they had ever encountered before.  So Paul, perhaps together with Luke, Mark (both educated, upper-class  Jews) and Peter (the chandala apostle), concocted a plan.  They could not use force against the Romans because the Jews were too few  and too weak.  The Romans were also  few in number, and militarily strong.  But the common man, the masses, especially the chandala Gentiles — they were many.  If they  could come to oppose the Romans then an overthrow, a revolution, might be  possible; or at the very least, the iron-grip rule would be weakened.  But the Gentiles did not have the same hatred that the Jews had; they  were less oppressed, and had less to lose under Roman rule.  And they were not naturally inclined to fight on the side of the Jews.  Even if a leader were to emerge, the Gentiles would not follow a Jew —  unless he was the Son of God.

A Jewish  rebel, a fellow chandala, but a divine One sent by God — or better, the  embodiment of God himself — might be able to win over the allegiance of the  unthinking and superstitious Gentile masses.  It would be a kind of ‘charm offensive’ against Rome — to steal away  their moral authority and place it, ultimately, in the hands of a Jew who would  sooth their suffering, and ‘save’ them.  “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22), as Nietzsche is fond of reminding  us.  This sort of stealth  insurrection would avoid the kind of direct confrontation that would get the  rebels imprisoned or killed, and it would be done in the name of nominally  higher values like faith, hope, and love.
Tales of a  Jewish messiah come to earth, however, would cause trouble with Paul’s fellow  Jews.  First, the messiah was  supposed to save the Jews, not the  Gentiles.  Second, despite the urgent  need, the ancient prophetic signs were not yet in place; any alleged messiah  would be false.  Furthermore Jesus  apparently had a habit of working on the Sabbath, flouting Judaic law.  These things were likely the source of Jewish antipathy toward him while  he was alive.

The situation  demanded a two-pronged strategy.  One  person — Peter — would work with his fellow Jews to convince them that, yes  indeed, this savior would work to the benefit of the Jews; he could be a true  ‘redeemer’ after all.  The others —  Paul, and perhaps Mark, Luke, and others_]17 — would undertake to  spread the ‘Good Word’ to the non-Jewish masses.  How do we know this?   Paul tells us himself:

  • “Now I am  speaking to you Gentiles.  Inasmuch  as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry…” (Rom 11:13);
  • “[Jesus was  revealed to me] in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles” (Gal 1:16);
  • “Let it be  known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will  listen” (Acts 28:28);
  • “[Barnabas  and Paul] related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the  Gentiles” (Acts 15:12).

This  conversion of the Gentiles was the core of the overall plan; without them the  insurrection would fail:  “I want you  [Gentiles] to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel  until the full number of Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved” (Rom  11:25-26) — saved by the Redeemer from Zion.]18 To this end, the  doctrine of ‘original sin’ was essential.  Every man was condemned from birth, unless he accepted the Jewish savior:  “all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin” (Rom 3:9);  “sin came into the world through one man [Adam] and death through sin, and so  death spread to all men because all men Spadeed” (Rom 5:12).

Peter’s  assignment is made clear in Galatians (2:7-8):

I  [Paul] had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised [non-Jews], just  as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised [Jews], (for He  who worked through Peter for the mission to the circumcised worked through me  also for the Gentiles)…

So the plan  devised by the ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’ (Paul) and the ‘Apostle to the Jews’  (Peter) was well underway by the mid-50s ad.  Nietzsche called it “the most subterranean conspiracy that ever existed”  (sec. 62).

As far as we  can tell, this small band of Jewish revolutionaries met with marginal success at  first.  Judging from the near  complete lack of written documentation (apart from Paul’s own letters), they had  little immediate effect.  Once again,  the chronology is telling:  Jesus  lived for 30-some years; 20 years then passed with no written record at all; and  for 20 more years we have only the  Pauline epistles.  So: 70 years gone  by, and the sum total of recorded  history for this group of Christian Jews is a handful of letters by their  leader, Paul.

And then Paul  dies — executed in Rome, so we are told.  Coincidentally, it is just at this time (66 ad) that the first Jewish Revolt begins.  The battle waxes and wanes for four years, until the Romans prevail in  70, destroying the great Jewish temple at Jerusalem.  Suddenly, the game changes.   The Jews are annihilated, defeated, and enraged.  Their hatred knows no bounds.   A burning resentment — ressentiment,  according to Nietzsche — gives rise to a maniacal thirst for revenge:  “The Romans will pay for this, if it takes a thousand years.”

As luck would  have it a nascent insurrection was already underway, thanks to Paul and his band  of “little ultra-Jews” (sec. 44).   Unfortunately, Peter and Mark both died during the Revolt, and with Paul already  gone the movement was decapitated.   The only survivors were Luke and the chandala apostles Phillip and John._]19 Someone then decided to launch a full-court press for Jesus.  They decided that the story of his life needed to be written, clearly  demonstrating his divine nature.   Within a year of the destruction of the Temple, suddenly, miraculously, the Gospel of Mark  appears.

As the first  detailed account of Jesus, it was crucial that it reach and impress the  non-Jewish masses.  Hence it was  written explicitly for them.  Jewish  terms and concepts are explained (5:41, 7:1, 13:46, 14:12, 15:42).  Jesus employs simple-minded parables (4:10-12, plus many examples  throughout).  And the book is replete  with miracles from the very first page; even the apostles performed them!  (6:13). It no doubt had a great effect.]20

The Gospel of  Mark evidently sufficed, at least for some 10 years.  Then, unknown persons for unknown reasons decided to embellish this text,  but under different names.  Thus came  the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.   (Again, expert consensus indicates that neither of these were written by their  namesakes.)  So by the year 90 we  have the three ‘synoptic Gospels’ completed, all of which were constructed on a  similar plan.

Finally, some  time in the final decade of that first century, the Gospel of John appears —  again, authorship unknown.  It is  notably different, both in content and tone, from the other three:  no mention of the virgin birth or baptism of Jesus, no ‘casting out of  demons’ miracles, clear separation from orthodox Judaism, only rare mention of  the suffering and downtrodden peoples, many first-person references by Jesus,  and, oddly, Jesus now carries his own cross (previously, Simon).  In general, Jesus is portrayed as more thoughtful and philosophical.  It seems to have targeted a more upper-class audience, both Jews and  non-Jews.  Perhaps it was meant as  ‘Christianity for the intellectuals.’

By the early  100s, then, everything was in place.   All NT books were complete, and they created — literally created — an image of Christ that was  compatible with the OT, and, more importantly, suited the larger purpose of  winning allegiance from the masses.   The Pharisee Jews were not happy, because they understood that this Jesus was a  false messiah, but they would come to accept the benefits of a Jewish Christ  that could sway the public at large and undermine support for Rome.  The plan was brilliant, and by all accounts, it worked.  Christianity grew from being persecuted by Rome, to being tolerated under  the reign of Constantine (306–337), to being installed as the official state  religion by Theodosius in 380 — coincidentally, just 15 years before the  disintegration of the Empire.

Of course, it is very difficult to know the extent to which Christianity  was a causal factor in the collapse — many other forces were at work, including  imperial overstretch, economic inflation, growing attacks by outside powers,  barbarization of the Roman military, depopulation from recurrent plagues,  environmental degradation, lead poisoning, and corruption within the leadership.  Notably, the first modern era account of Rome’s collapse — Edward  Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and  Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–1789) — was also the first to cite  Christianity and Christian ‘moral decay’ as a leading cause; on this count  Nietzsche was not original.  Scholars  since Gibbon’s time generally prefer some combination of the other factors.  But the actual cause is not really at  issue here.  Christianity was certainly  very influential during the period of decline, and it undeniably filled the void  created when Rome finally collapsed in 476.  Even if Christianity was merely the opportunist of the time, Nietzsche’s  main contention holds.

* * * * *

Whatever the  cause or causes, Christianity proved the victor.  Unfortunately, says Nietzsche, this victory came at a tremendous cost.  The Romans, in fact, had the nobler  values.   Having absorbed  and assimilated the best of classical Greek culture, the Romans of that first  century ad were the embodiment of  strength, nobility, life-affirmation, and excellence — in short, all that was  greatest in humanity.

For  the Romans were the strong and noble, and nobody stronger and nobler has yet  existed on earth or even been dreamed of:  every remnant of them, every inscription, gives delight… 

(Genealogy, 1.16).


Greeks!  Romans!  The nobility of instinct, the taste, the methodical research, the genius  of organization and administration, the faith in — the will to — man’s future, the great Yes to all things, become visible  in the imperium Romanum, visible for  all the senses, the grand style no longer mere art but become reality, truth, life.  (Antichrist, sec. 59)
The Empire  could withstand almost anything —  “but it  was not firm enough against the most  corrupt kind of corruption, against the Christians (sec. 58).  They were the revolutionaries and anarchists, pulling on the great  pillars of the Empire by draining it of its greatest strength, its system of  values:

The  Christian and the anarchist: both decadents, both incapable of having any effect  other than disintegrating, poisoning, withering, bloodsucking; both the instinct  of moral hatred against everything that stands, that stands in greatness, that  has duration, that promises life a future.  Christianity was the vampire of the imperium Romanum… (ibid.)

The defeat  was total.   “Which of them has won for the present, Rome or Judea?”  Nietzsche answers:

But  there can be no doubt:  consider to  whom one bows down in Rome itself today — and not only in Rome but over almost  half the earth, everywhere that man has become tame or desires to become tame:  in front of three Jews, as is known, and one Jewess (Jesus of Nazareth, the fisherman Peter, the rug weaver Paul, and  the mother of the aforementioned Jesus, named Mary).  This is very remarkable:   without doubt Rome has been conquered.  (Genealogy, 1.16)

When they  were defeated, nobility itself was destroyed, and the Jewish chandala morality,  the slave morality, arose victorious.  For the slaves and Jews this was a happy outcome; for humanity at large  it was a catastrophe of the highest magnitude.

How was this  attack conducted?  First, by  countering every aspect of Roman morality and spirituality, and second, by  establishing a system favorable to Jewish interests.  Against Roman polytheism, the Jews placed monotheism (or “monotono-theism”,  as Nietzsche would have it).  Against  a sense of privilege, nobility, and hierarchy, the Jews placed ‘equality before  God’, and the notion of ‘equal rights.’  Against the ideal of human fulfillment and self-realization here on  Earth, salvation now came in the afterlife.  Against the gods of nature, who could be cruel and ruthless as well as  beneficent, they placed a God of ‘pure spirit’ and love.  Against the ideal of bodily strength and vigor, they placed the concept  of spiritual health and bodily indifference.  Against allegiance to men based upon leadership and the demands of the  polity, they placed dependence on the priests.  Against truth and reason, they placed lies and faith.

Nietzsche  held out particular scorn for the three cardinal virtues of Christianity: faith,  hope, and love (Paul, in 1 Cor 13:13).  Faith is fundamentally opposed to truth, because one simply ‘believes’  for no rational reason, or worse, in spite of reason; “if faith is quite generally needed above all, then reason, knowledge,  and inquiry must be discredited: the way to truth become the forbidden way” (sec. 23).  Faith is a “form of sickness, and all straight, honest, scientific paths to  knowledge must be rejected by the church as forbidden paths.  Even doubt is a sin. …   ‘Faith’ means not wanting to know what is true” (sec. 52).  It engenders dependency, because one is not allowed to think critically,  or for oneself; the believer becomes dependent on the priest, who in turn gains  power over the believer.   Hence “every kind of faith is itself an  expression of self-abnegation, of self-alienation” (sec. 54).

Hope,  Nietzsche reminds us, was the one evil that did not escape Pandora’s box.  It strikes the modern reader as odd to think of hope as an evil, but in  the hand of the Christian it becomes merely “a hope for the beyond” — an  unfulfillable (or at least unverifiable) promise of a blessed afterlife.  As such, Christian hope is meaningless; worse still, a tool for  manipulation, “precisely because of its  ability to keep the unfortunate in continual suspense” (sec. 23).  To repeatedly promise with no ability to deliver — this is the function  of the priest.

Love is the  most striking of the three, born as it is, paradoxically, out of Jewish hatred  and revenge.  Rather than teaching  the non-Jews to hate the Romans — for which there was no real basis — Paul and  his fellow Jews used ‘God’s love’ to seduce the masses.  This necessitated, first of all, a certain conception of God:  “To make love possible, God  must be a person,” not merely some abstract metaphysical entity.  To truly personalize God, he must come to Earth in human form — hence  Jesus.  ‘Jesus’ (of the Pauline  persuasion) now serves a specific purpose: to allow us to ‘love God’ more  easily.  Once we are in love, we both  tolerate more, and are ripe for manipulation.  “Love is the state in which man  sees things most decidedly as they are not. …  In love man endures more, man bears everything” (ibid).  So once the masses are drawn to the Jewish Messiah by love, they accept  what he says unquestioningly, and are willing to submit to trials and hardship —  a perfect combination for the Jewish priest.  Accept the Jews, those chosen people of God; don’t resist the Jews; love thy neighbor, the Jew (Rom 13:9) —  this is the message:

The  Christian…is distinguished by acting differently: by not resisting, either in words or in his heart, those who  treat him ill; by making no distinction between foreigner and native, between  Jew and non-Jew (‘the neighbor’ — really the coreligionist, the Jew); by not  growing angry with anybody, by not despising anybody…  (sec. 33)

Because the  goal was to convert and mobilize every available person, Jesus (God) must love  all people equally.  Paul thereby  negated one of the most ancient realities of human society — the hierarchy of  rank among individuals — with his doctrine of a God that gives his blessing to  all.  He also negated  the existence and importance of ethnic and national differences and conflicts  among different ethnic and national interests: All people are essentially the  same in the eyes of God. All men have an immortal soul that can be  saved, and thus are inherently equal:  “For by one Spirit we were all  baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks [i.e. non-Jews], slaves or free — and  all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:13); “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is  neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in  Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).  In  Nietzsche’s paraphrase, “Everyone is the  child of God…and as a child of God everyone is equal to everyone.”  There could scarcely be a more pernicious lie than this, he argues.  If no one is worse than anyone else, then no one is better — no one can get better.  This is counter to the whole thrust of life and evolution, which is  toward the greater, the higher, the more refined, the nobler.  But it is as necessary as it is destructive, if the masses are to be  mobilized.

Thus emerged  the slave morality of the Christians, out of the hatred and revenge of the Jews.  And it was all based upon lies:  the lie of equality, the lie of the miracle, the lie of the resurrection,  the lie of God, the lie of Christian love.  It is so profoundly opposed to nature and the natural order of the world  that it creates a deep sickness within humanity.  This “world of pure fiction” and its hatred of the natural…of  reality!” actually has an interest in creating a sickness that only it can  assuage:

Christianity needs sickness just as  Greek culture needs a superabundance of health — to make sick is the true, secret purpose  of the whole system of redemptive procedures constructed by the church. (sec.  51)

Christianity also stands opposed to every spirit that has turned out well; it can use only sick reason as Christian  reason, it sides with everything idiotic, it utters a curse against the spirit,  against the superbia of the healthy  spirit…  ickness is of the essence  of Christianity.  (sec. 52)

The sickly,  the weak, the enfeebled, the ignorant, the repugnant — we know these are the  essence of a Jewish-contrived Christianity because…Paul tells us:

God  chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in  the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world,  even things that are not, to bring to  nothing things that are… (1 Cor 1:27-28).

“This was the  formula,”  says Nietzsche; under this sign,  “decadence triumphed” (sec. 51).   This, in a single passage, contains the essence of Christian depravity and  decay.

Decadence is only a means for the type of man who demands power in Judaism and  Christianity, the priestly type:   this type of man has a life interest in making mankind sick, and in so twisting  the concepts of good and evil, true and false, as to imperil life and slander  the world.  (sec. 24)

In  Christianity all of Judaism, a several-century-old Jewish preparatory training  and technique of the most serious kind, attains its ultimate mastery as the art  of lying in a holy manner.  The  Christian, the ultima ratio of the  lie, is the Jew once more — even three  times a Jew.  (sec. 44)

Nietzsche  closes Antichrist with guns ablaze:

Paul,  the chandala hatred against Rome, against ‘the world,’ become flesh, become  genius, the Jew, the eternal Wandering  Jew par excellence.   What he  guessed was how one could use the little sectarian Christian movement apart from  Judaism to kindle a ‘world fire’; how with the symbol of ‘God on the cross’ one  could unite all who lay at the bottom, all who were secretly rebellious, the  whole inheritance of anarchistic agitation in the Empire, into a tremendous  power.  ‘Salvation is of the Jews.’  Christianity as a formula with which to outbid the subterranean cults of  all kinds…and to unite them:  in this lies the genius of Paul.  His instinct was so sure in this that he took the ideas with which these  chandala religions fascinated, and, with ruthless violence, he put them into the  mouth of the ‘Savior’ whom he had invented…  This was his moment at Damascus:  he comprehended that he needed the belief in immortality to deprive ‘the world’ of value, that the concept of  ‘hell’ would become master even over Rome — that with the ‘beyond’ one kills life.  (sec. 58)

The  whole labor of the ancient world in vain…the  whole meaning of the ancient world in  vain!  Wherefore Greeks?  Wherefore Romans?  All the  presuppositions for a scholarly culture, all scientific methods, were already  there…  Everything essential had been found, so the work could be begun…  All in vain!  Overnight, nothing but a memory!  …  [R]uined by cunning,  stealthy, invisible, anemic vampires.  Not vanquished — merely drained.  Hidden vengefulness, petty envy become master.  Everything miserable that suffers from itself, that is afflicted with bad  feelings, that whole ghetto-world of the soul on top, all at once.  (sec. 59)

Parasitism as the only practice of the  church; with its ideal of anemia, of ‘holiness’, draining all blood, all love,  all hope for life; the beyond as the will to negate every reality; the cross as  the mark of recognition for the most subterranean conspiracy that ever existed —  against health, beauty, whatever has turned out well, courage, spirit, graciousness of the soul, against life itself. …  I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great innermost  corruption, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means is too  poisonous, too stealthy, too subterranean, too petty — I call it the one immortal  blot on mankind.  (sec. 62)

What an  incredible feat:  to turn Europeans  away from their own western heritage — a noble, life-affirming Greco-Roman  culture — and toward a foreign, alien, decadent, Oriental worldview.  And it was done as revenge, out of hatred, and built upon lies.  An ancient religion — Judaism — born of falsehood and lies, creates  another born of falsehood and lies.   It is done for reasons of power, control, wealth, and survival.  And the lie prevails.

Judaism never  did fully accept Christian morality or the notion of a Christian Messiah — even  if he were a Jew.  Though there was  considerable overlap in the two religions — both are variations on the slave  morality — Judaism retained its insularity, suspicion of Gentiles, need for  control, exploitation, and power, and inclination for revenge.  As Christianity took flight it became, of course, a non-Jewish religion.  Christian morals thus emphasized compassion, love, ‘resist not evil’,  ‘turn the other cheek’, ‘blessed are the meek.’  There could obviously be no suspicion of non-Jews within Christianity,  but this was replaced by a suspicion of all that was great, strong, and noble —  the exemplar, the outstanding individual who put the lie to the notion of  universal equality.

Implications for the Contemporary Scene

So what are  the consequences of all this for today?  There are many, of course.  If  indeed the essence of Pauline Christianity is sickness, and if it indeed is  anti-natural and neglects all that is healthy and strong, then we should see  some tangible evidence of this.  For  example, given that ultimate value lies in spiritual salvation, we might expect  that the more pious, church-going nations would have less concern about bodily  health.  And in fact there seems to  be a correlation between the two.   Using obesity rates as a rough measure of physical health, an analysis of public  survey data shows that the most religious Christian nations are also the most  obese.  Specifically, about 60  percent of the people in the U.S. and Mexico consider Christianity “very  important,” and these same two nations have the highest obesity rates — 30 and  25 percent, respectively.   Conversely, France, Germany, and the Czech Republic are less than 20 percent  religious, and are also less than 15 percent obese._]21  Of course, correlation is not causation, and we  cannot say that Christian beliefs cause or promote ill health.  But even if the converse is true — if the sick, the ill, the obese are  drawn to Christianity — this does not speak well for the religion.   Either way Nietzsche’s point appears confirmed:  Physical health is not a big deal; God loves us no matter what.

But on more  philosophical points, four items in particular stand out as clear implications.  First, a heavy emphasis on freedom.  The Judeo-Christian slave morality arises from an extreme lack of  personal and social freedom, and thus it should exhibit a clear preoccupation,  or even obsession, with freedom.   This seems transparently clear in the U.S., at least, where ‘liberty’ is a core  value, along with ‘life’ and ‘happiness.’  One recalls President Bush (Jr.)’s 2002 State of the Union speech,  peppered with some two dozen references to it.  We could point to our ‘war on terror,’ of which a prime objective is to  “bring freedom” to the oppressed.  We  could cite our military adventurism in the Middle East, with its “Operation  Iraqi Freedom” and “Operation Enduring freedom” (Afghanistan).  Our leading enemies in the world today are those who “hate our freedoms.”

The current,  popular, governmental form of freedom is a debased concept.  It is a freedom of capitalism, a freedom of exploitation, and a decadent,  soft, amoral form of personal freedom; ‘liberalism,’ as Nietzsche would have it.  Liberal institutions undermine the will to power, they set to work leveling mountains and valleys and  call this morality, they make things small, cowardly, and enjoyable — they  represent the continual triumph of herd animals.  Liberalism: herd animalization,  in other words… (Twilight of the Idols,  sec. 38).

True freedom,  on Nietzsche’s view, is something different.  It is the Greco-Roman conception of the idea — something felt, something  lived.  The Greeks and Romans did not  speak of freedom or rights at all.   They were free, they lived as free  men, and thus did not obsess about it.  And this is precisely the point:  A truly free people does not obsess about freedom, or about rights.  Only those enslaved, or those laboring under a slave morality, continue  to do so.  True freedom, Nietzsche  says, is the struggle to maintain one’s personal independence and integrity in  the face of countervailing forces.   “What is freedom?  Having the will to  be responsible for yourself.   Maintaining the distance that divides us.  Becoming indifferent to hardship, cruelty, deprivation, even to life. …  A free man is a warrior” (ibid).

Second, the  natural extension of ‘equal before God’ is ‘equal before the law’.  This implies a natural affinity to both democracy and equality of rights.  Democracy is contemptuous precisely because it is the politics of the  herd; it finds sustenance in the Judeo-Christian herd morality:  “the democratic movement is the heir of the  Christian movement” (Beyond Good and  Evil, sec. 202).  For Nietzsche, “the democratic movement is not only a  form of decay of political organization but a form of the decay, namely the  diminution, of man, making him mediocre and lowering his value” (ibid: 203).  The Roman Empire flourished because it was anti-democratic.

On the  general critique of democracy, Plato was in full agreement.  For him (as for Aristotle), democracy was rule by the uneducated masses,  and hence the lowest common denominator.  Consequently it was nearly the worst form of government — surpassed only  by tyranny.]22] The pre-Christian world knew that brute democracy was something to be  avoided.

Of course,  the mere adoption of a Christian morality did not ensure democracy — as  demonstrated by the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, and the many  Renaissance dynasties of Europe.  Nor  is it the only path to modern democracy — witness the Hindu democratic system in  India.  But for Europe at least,  large-scale industrial democracy was the “heir” to Christianity, and it took  several centuries to become manifest.  It represents only the latest stage in the decline of western man.

The other  implication of spiritual equality is that of equal rights. “The poison of the  doctrine of ‘equal rights for all’ — it was Christianity that spread it most  fundamentally” (sec. 43).  It was  a kind of gross flattery to tell even the lowest of the low — the chandalas, the  masses — that they were equal to the highest, and deserved equal standing; this “miserable flattery of personal vanity” was a key element in the success of Christianity.  It created the herd, and the herd would be led by their divine Shepherd.  But this is not reality.  In  the real world there is order of rank,  of lesser and greater individuals.   Rights based on meaningless equality are themselves meaningless.  Men are by nature unequal, and thus the only possible rights are those  appropriate for each station — in other words, of unequal rights:  “The inequality of rights is the first  condition for the existence of any rights at all” (sec. 57).  Rights are something one holds against another; when all have them, none have them.

Convinced of  his equality and his rights, the chandala is willing to fight for them.  Here the Christian rebel takes to work, inciting the masses against those  stronger and nobler who would deny their equality — yet another justification  for Nietzsche’s contempt:

Whom  do I hate most among the rabble of today?  The socialist rabble, the chandala apostles, who undermine the instinct,  the pleasure, the worker’s sense of satisfaction with his small existence — who  make him envious, who teach him revenge.  The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of ‘equal’  rights. …  The anarchist and the  Christian have the same origin.   (ibid)
The passions  of the common man are inflamed, envy is fostered, and the result is discontent.  Once the hierarchy of the strong (e.g. the imperium Romanum) is undermined, then  the herd becomes the dominant force.   It is thereby easily manipulated by the priestly shepherds.

Thirdly,  under the dictate of equality of all men, and the moral prescription to love thy  neighbor, one is compelled to accept some form of multiculturalism, and even  cultural relativism.  All of humanity  is part of the great Christian herd, at least potentially so.  Those not explicitly Christian are converts-in-waiting.  God does not discriminate amongst souls, nor should we.  All are welcome to our flock; the bigger the herd, the better.

Finally, the  primary goal of the whole scheme:   benefit to the Jews and the Jewish state.  In this sense we have, on the whole, and in spite of periodic pogroms  throughout the centuries, a tremendous success story for the Jewish people.  It cannot be anti-Semitic to point this out.  In fact it is to their credit that such a small and beleaguered people  could achieve such influence in an uncertain and dangerous world.

Especially in  recent times, Jews have profited immensely from public sympathy — a sympathy  frequently rooted in Christian theology.  With Christianity, “we are among  Jews”:  Christ, the Virgin Mary,  the Apostles, ‘salvation is of the Jews’ — even God is a Jew:

When  the presupposition of ascending life,  when everything strong, brave, masterful, and proud is eliminated from the  conception of God; when he degenerates step by step into a mere symbol, a staff  for the weary, a sheet-anchor for the drowning; when he becomes a god of the  poor, the Spadeers, and the sick par excellence…just what does such a transformation  signify?

To be  sure, the ‘kingdom of God’ has thus been enlarged.  Formerly he had only his people, his ‘chosen’ people.  Then he, like his people, became a wanderer and went into foreign  lands…until ‘the great numbers’ and half the earth were on his side.  Nevertheless, the god of ‘the great numbers,’ the democrat among the  gods, did not become a proud pagan: he remained a Jew, he remained a god of  nooks, the god of all the dark corners and places, of all the unhealthy quarters  the world over!  (sec. 17)

Hence:  to love Christ and to love God is to love God’s chosen, the Jews — an  ideal situation, if you’re Jewish.   How much the easier to exploit the sympathies of the masses; to curry favor and  gain support; to manipulate and mislead.  And as before, survey data show that the more Christian the nation, the  greater its sympathy to Israel and Jews generally._]23
As a  practical consequence, Americans in particular seem satisfied to allow  Jewish-Americans an unprecedented and hugely disproportionate role in their  nation — in other words, to be their shepherds.  Though less than 2 percent of the population, American Jews are extremely  influential in the cultural and economic life of the nation._]24  Likewise in the political sphere, where the  Israel Lobby — led by AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and the  CoP (Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations) — wields  immense power.]25  The end result is that, through a hammer-grip on  the American superpower, Jewish and Israeli interests are able to influence  events throughout the world.  As  former Malaysian president Mahathir Mohamad said, “Today Jews rule the world  by proxy.  They get others to fight  and die for them.” Indeed — the sheep must occasionally be led to slaughter.

And yet…the  system is not perfect.  There is, as  we know, a lingering anti-Semitism within Christianity.  Some are angry that ‘the Jews killed Christ.’  Many dislike their dominance and corruption of American society.  Others are dismayed at the criminal actions of Israel in the occupied  territories.  They are upset by the  virtual apartheid that exists there today, the anti-Arab discrimination, and the  driving out of Christians from the holy land.  People are unhappy with Jewish manipulation of media and entertainment,  with the billions of dollars in annual foreign aid to Israel, with the costly  wars in the Middle East that serve primarily to protect Israel — and yet they  cannot bring themselves to openly oppose the Jews.  Such internal conflict is easily manifest in various forms of  anti-Semitism.

I wonder if  many Christians don’t somehow know, deep inside, that their very faith is based  on Jewish lies and resentment.  I  wonder if they know they have been duped.  There are also, perhaps, subconscious worries that, just maybe, other  popular legends might also be fanciful exaggerations built on hatred and lies.]26 When governmental and institutional leaders have proven themselves  corrupt and unreliable, and occasionally outright liars, then one does not know  whom to trust.

Even if Nietzsche was right — if Christianity was in fact “the most subterranean conspiracy that  ever existed” — it still cannot go unexposed forever.  People seem to be more willing than ever to challenge age-old (and  not-so-old) religious myths.  Perhaps the  accumulated sense of manipulation, illness, and moral decadence will cause  people to break out of their stupor, ask tough questions, and demand real  answers.  If so, then Dr. Nietzsche will  have earned his keep.

Dr.  Thomas Dalton (email him) is the  author of Debating the  Holocaust (2009).
Permanent URL: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Dalton-Nietzsche2.html



Notes  to Part 2

 Notably, “Barnabas.”  See Acts 14 and 15. [return]

 The passage in Romans continues:  “The  Deliverer [Redeemer] will come from Zion,” referring to the OT prophecy that  “deliverance for Israel would come out of Zion” (Ps 14:7).  See also Isaiah 59:20.    [return]

 Thomas is alleged to have lived a couple more years, until 72.  And several of the other apostles have unknown deaths, and thus may have  been alive somewhere.    [return]

 Lindemann (Esau’s Tears, 1997: 31) describes it this way:  “Both Paul and the writers of the Gospels radically redefined the  traditional Jewish notion of messiah, from [an ordinary man] to that of a  supernatural figure much resembling the dying and reviving salvation gods that  were common to many pagan mystery cults of the day.  There were certainly many overlaps between those cults and early  Christianity.”    [return]

 Obesity data from www.nationmaster.com.  Religious attitudes are reported in the Pew Global Attitudes Project, 19  December 2002.  Data from nine  nations shows a strong linear correlation (R2 value = 0.58).  Interestingly, the correlation between obesity and religiosity seems not  to be found in Islam; Turkey, for example, is very religious (65% consider it  ‘very important’), but has only a 12% obesity rate.   [return]

 For  Plato’s critique see Republic, Book 8.  On his  view aristocracy was the ideal form, followed by timocracy and oligarchy;  democracy and tyranny were the worst.  Aristotle saw democracy as a degenerate form of ‘rule by the masses’; see Politics, Book 3.  This may strike some as odd, given ancient Greece’s reputation for having  invented democracy, and thriving because of it.  And relative to barbarism or anarchy, it was superior.  But it works best as participatory democracy, in a very small state.  Large, modern nation-states, of the kind Nietzsche considered, brought  out the worst aspects of democracy.    [return]

 As the most religious nation (59%  ‘very important’), the U.S. is also most sympathetic:  48 percent of the population sympathizes more with Israel in the conflict  in Palestine (Pew Research survey, 19 July 2006), a figure that rises to 57  percent among Christian Zionists.   Conversely, the European countries are both less religious and less sympathetic  to Israel (which run 38 percent in France, 37 percent in Germany, 24 percent in  the UK, 9 percent in Spain). [return]

 According to Vanity Fair (October 2007), they make up more than half of the “100  most powerful people” in the world.  Of  the top 400 richest individuals in the U.S., at least 149 (37%) are Jewish (top  400 reported in Forbes, 30 September  2009; Jewish count by Jacob Berman, www.blogs.jta.org [5  October 2009]).   Fully half of the  top 50 political pundits are Jewish (top 50 list from Atlantic, September 2009; Jewish count  by Steve Sailer [www.isteve.blogspot.com]).  In media and entertainment the dominance is almost total.  Jewish executives lead all five of the top U.S. media conglomerates —  Time-Warner (Jeff Bewkes, Edgar Bronfman), Disney (Robert Iger), News Corp  (Rupert Murdoch, Peter Chernin), Viacom (Sumner Redstone, Leslie Moonves,  Philippe Dauman), NBC-Universal (Jeff Zucker).  All are Jewish except possibly for Murdoch.  Six of the top seven American newspapers have Jewish management.  Virtually every major Hollywood studio exec is Jewish — see “How Jewish  is Hollywood?”, Los Angeles Times, 19  December 2008. [return]

 In  the political sphere, Jewish-Americans comprise 7 percent of the House and 15  percent of the Senate.  Even more  impressively, some 80 to 90 percent of both chambers reflexively support Jewish  interests.  The reason:  pro-Jewish individuals and lobbies supply half or more of political  campaign contributions — for both major parties; see “Candidly  speaking: Obama, Netanyahu and American Jews”  Jerusalem Post (11 May 2009).  The lobby AIPAC is among the top two or three most powerful in  Washington, and they have absolute dominance in U.S. foreign policy.  All major presidential candidates bend over backward to placate Jewish  interests.  For details on the American  political scene, see Mearsheimer and Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (2007).   [return]

 The  Holocaust and the 9/11 attacks being the prime examples.   For the Holocaust, see my book Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both  Sides (www.debatingtheholocaust.com)  or G. Rudolf, Lectures on the Holocaust.  On the 9/11 controversy, see D. Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking.   [return]
Reverend Gregg E. Imperium. Formerly WCOTC Northern Ireland.

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Re: Nietzsche & the orgins of Christianity
« Reply #2 on: 30 July 2013 at 11:23 »
I am posting the second part of this article, by the way after complaints on a "Nazi" forum about the first part by CI Lunatics, it was removed by a mod.
Reverend Gregg E. Imperium. Formerly WCOTC Northern Ireland.

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Re: Nietzsche & the orgins of Christianity
« Reply #3 on: 30 July 2013 at 14:44 »
CI are the perfect example of ChristInsane: Reality is thrown out the window to win a Jewish argument. Plain pathetic.

Brother, if you are interested, I was the one that edited the formatting of Part 1 to make it easier to read; and I am the one that edited Part 2.

Reports came flooding in  after you posted Part 1 about how good it was - none of us wanted to interrupt the flow of text, but I guess there's no harm.

Nietzsche ... then, I always say: Creativity is a little Nietzsche, a little Machiavellian (read what Machiavelli said about religion) and a little Uncle Adolf - drop the overt politics and add an extra healthy dose of Race and Nature, History and Common Sense, and you have Creativity.

Cailen.

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